According to recent reports from Harvard Business Review & McKinsey, the failure rate for mergers and acquisitions sits in the region of around 70%.
Although the reasons why acquisitions fail are complex and numerous, having your team onboard certainly helps to make the process smoother and goes a long way towards building a solid foundation for success.
If you’re preparing for an acquisition and want to get your team on board, then these tips will certainly help to get the process off on the right foot and increase your chances of everything going to plan when it comes to galvanising your workforce.
Communication is key
The prospect of an acquisition can be daunting for many staff, no matter seniority, and you should expect many to worry about the security of their role.
Communicating the reasons why you are looking to acquire a new company in the first place (or are being acquired), the benefits of doing so and how you anticipate the transition is going to work not only gives employees from both companies a better idea of what’s going on, it can also help them see the merger or acquisition in a more positive light.
Regular email communications, company newsletters and departmental briefings can all be utilised to give employees the information they need to feel settled, so make sure that your communications are regular, well-timed and detailed.
Create a platform for discussion
Many employees feel a great deal of ownership towards their roles and the part they play in overall business success, so giving them a platform to air their views, ask questions and make suggestions is essential for getting them onside with your new acquisition.
Having a voice and feeling that they are able to contribute to the process as a whole is critical for making employees feel valued and listened to. Create a forum for idea sharing and discussion which you can open up to staff members of all levels and not just the C-Suite.
Although there might be the need to change the role or responsibilities of some staff and potentially even a limited number of redundancies, for many employees and the business as a whole, these changes can be largely positive.
However, for the few that might find their positions at risk, honesty is always the best policy. They will expect you to be upfront with them from the start should their position be under review.
It might be a tough conversation to have with some team members, but it is essential that you keep staff informed of your plans to ensure employee buy-in and maintain your integrity as a senior manager or business owner.
What tips do you have for leading a successful acquisition? Share them with me on social media.
Also published on Medium.